Seeking Compensation for a Bike Accident? Don't Wait To Gain Compensation You Deserve

DC Bicycle Accident Lawyers

At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we understand the laws and regulations instituted to protect bicyclists, and we also understand your rights and privileges as a victim of negligence. We are a group of highly skilled bike accident attorneys in Washington, DC, and we may be able to help if you have been harmed by another driver or due to the careless behavior of another party.

Following your accident, you may incur significant expenses and experience financial loss due to:

  • Medical bills
  • Surgery, rehabilitation, and other injury-related treatment
  • Chiropractic care
  • Assistive devices
  • Inability to work, resulting in reduced earning potential and lost wages

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

In Metro Washington, there are bicyclists everywhere at any given time. According to U.S. Census data from the most recent American Community Survey, approximately 13,000 DC residents currently bike to and from work, with an average of approximately 1,200 new bicyclists joining the ranks every year. While the steady increase in two-wheeled commuters may be great for the environment, other statistics suggest that bicycling may not be getting any safer.

According to a 2016 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cyclist fatalities make up approximately 4% of all traffic accident-related deaths in Washington, DC. Nationally, there were 840 reported cyclist deaths due to traffic crashes in 2016 (the vast majority of them being men between the ages of 15 and 65), and even more sustained serious injuries.

All of the following have contributed significantly to the occurrence of bicycle accidents in Metro Washington:

  • Impairment due to drugs, alcohol, or both
  • Driving while texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, eating, or distracted by any other means
  • Poor visibility of traffic signals and signs
  • Broken, missing, or malfunctioning traffic signals
  • Improperly marked roads and bicycle lanes
  • Lack of appropriate roadway maintenance
  • Defective bicycle components

Washington, DC Laws that Pertain to Bicycle Accidents

Washington, DC currently has a well-formed assemblage of laws intended to protect cyclists, including (but not limited to):

  • DC Municipal Regulations (DCMR), Title 18, Section 1201.1: Every person riding a bicycle on a highway is subject to all of the same duties and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles (except those which have no reasonable application to riders), meaning that cyclists must adhere to all the same traffic laws and exercise appropriate caution while riding.
  • DCMR, Title 18, Section 1201.11: Bicyclists using crosswalks bear the same responsibilities as pedestrians in the same area but must yield right-of-way to pedestrians.
  • DC Code, Title 50, Section 2201.28: When using unsignalized crossings, bicyclists must stop and give the right-of-way to crossing pedestrians.
  • DCMR, Title 18, Section 1201.3(b): Cyclists can split lanes and pass or overtake other vehicles to either side and do what is necessary to pass safely.
  • DCMR, Title 18, Section 2405.1(g): It is illegal to park, stand, or stop in a bike lane, and doing so is a punishable offense.
  • DCMR, Title 18, Section 1201.7: Cyclists are permitted to ride no more than two abreast in travel lanes and areas that are designated for bicycles.
  • DCMR, Title 18, Section 2214.4: The owner or user of the car is always responsible when a cyclist has been hit with a car door, because it is the responsibility of the person inside the car to evaluate their surroundings before opening the door.
  • DC Code, Title 50, Section 1731.04: It is technically legal for cyclists to talk on the phone or use other electronic devices while riding, if they utilize a hands-free device.

Cyclists in Washington, DC are not restricted to bicycle lanes and do not have to ride in a certain area of the road. Bicycles also do not have to be registered, and cyclists may not be ticketed for riding an unregistered bike.

Washington DC recently passed legislation making it easier for injured bicyclists and pedestrians to recover damages from an accident. Bicyclists and pedestrians can now recover, even if they are partially at fault and responsible for the accident, as long as they are not more than 50% responsible. Thus, even if you may be partially responsible for an accident, you may be able to recover from a negligent driver.

What Should I Do After Being Injured in a Bike Collision?

If you have been hurt while riding a bicycle due to the negligence of a driver, fellow cyclist, pedestrian, or municipality, there are a few things you should do in the immediate aftermath of the crash:

  • Call the police and participate in the completion of an official police report: Having an official police report may give much credence to your claim (should you decide to make one), especially if there is documentation of your version of the events that led to your accident.
  • Obtain names, contact, and insurance information from all parties involved, including witnesses: This may be crucial to your ability to recover compensation for injury-related costs, such as medical bills, chiropractor visits, physical therapy, etc. Even if you are not sure whether you have been injured or if your injuries do not appear severe at the time of the accident, it is always in your best interest to get as much information as possible from the person who caused your accident, as well as any potential witnesses.
  • Preserve as much evidence as possible: Take pictures of the accident as soon as you are able (preferably before any vehicles have been moved), and make sure to photograph any injuries, such as broken bones, torn skin, or otherwise damaged body parts. Also keep a log of all of your medical costs, treatments, out of pocket expenses, and missed time from work caused by your accident.
  • Connect with a bicycle accident attorney in Washington, DC: As soon as you are involved in a bicycle accident, everything you do or say could impact the outcome of your case. When you call Simeone & Miller, LLP for help, we can advise you at every critical juncture and every step of the way while we formulate a strong personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

Connect with a member of our team immediately to schedule a consultation and find out if a personal injury lawsuit is the right solution in your case.

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